Interested in learning more about water softeners? Wondering if you need one? You’ve come to the right place! We hope you’ll find the answers you were looking for in this jam-packed water softener guide.
Why do you need a water softener?
Water softeners are typically used to treat hard water. Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. High mineral content occurs when the water percolates through deposits of limestone, chalk, or gypsum, which contain large amounts of calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates and sulfates. Learn more about hard water here. The most common water softeners help treat hard water by reducing the buildup of scale (calcium deposits).
Here are 3 easy ways to determine if you need a water softener:
1. You’ve noticed stains/scale build-up in your washer, sinks, and bathtubs and more.
If you’ve noticed white, chalky residue in your kitchen and/or bathroom sink, dishwasher and even your coffee pot or tea kettle, this is a sign you have hard water. Hard water can also cause plaster like deposits in your bathroom faucets and in your bathtub or shower.
2. You’re constantly having to call a plumber for repairs.
Steel pipes are easily damaged from limescale build up and will cause your water not to flow well (aka low water pressure). Limescale buildup can not only cause problems with your pipes, they can also cause major problems for the valves leading to your washing machine and dishwasher. This will drastically reduce the lifespan of your home’s appliances. Repairing your plumbing and replacing your appliances on a regular basis is expensive, so the sooner you fix the problem, the better.
3. Your skin and hair are dry.
If you’ve noticed that you skin is dryer than usual or your hair constantly looks dirty or feels dry and brittle, this is a sign that you have hard water. Because your water contains extra calcium and magnesium, they will settle on your skin, leaving it feeling dry and rough. Hard water also blocks your pores and can cause inflammation and black heads.
There are four main types of water softeners. Here is a list of the most common ones:
1) Ion Exchange
Ion exchange water softeners exchange ions in the water with sodium or potassium so that the ions in the water that cause hardness to be removed. Using this type of water softener can help prolong the life of your water-using appliances. This type of water softener is not recommended for drinking due to the high sodium levels.
2) Salt Free
Often the most preferred by consumers, salt free water softeners use a filter that does not require the use of any chemicals, potassium or salt. An advantage of using a salt free water softener is that the minerals present in the water are not affected. One of the only disadvantages to using this type of water softener is that it is not recommended for very hard water.
3) Reverse Osmosis
Reverse osmosis water softeners use pressure to remove 98% of all impurities though a semi-permeable membrane.
Magnetic water softeners do exactly what you think: they use magnets in and around the water pips so that the magnetic field will alter the water. The only disadvantage of using this type of water softener is that the water will become hard again 48 hours after it has left the magnetic field.
Once you’ve established that you need a water softener and what type you need, we’re here to help!
Here are a few options we found for you:
Ion Exchange Water Softener:
3M Cuno Water Softening Filtration System
The 3M Water Softening Filtration System is a replacement water filter cartridge that reduces hardness in your water. This Cuno filtration system boasts high capacity sodium ion exchange resin that will prevent the build up of limescale. It also limits the need for maintenance and will boost energy efficiency through the softening of water. This particular 3M Cuno system features a cyclone distributor to clean resin off the system and a safety brine valve that prevents the overflow of salt brine.
Salt Free Water Softeners:
The Propur Prosoft Saltless Softener and Conditioner will help protect your home’s plumbing from scale buildup. This Propur Prosoft Saltless Softener and Conditioner is designed to work in conjunction with the Propur 4 Stage Whole House Water Filtration System. This salt free softener system is an excellent alternative to conventional ion exchange-based water softeners, reverse osmosis or salt or chemical based systems. Not only is it cost effective, but it is also environmentally friendly. This system not only softens the water, but it will also help condition water to prevent scaling by neutralizing magnesium and calcium rather than removing them. The neutralizing process converts the calcium into micro-crystals and allows beneficial minerals to pass through your pipes and into your household water without sticking to them.
Pelican NaturSoft Salt-Free Water Softeners
If you’re looking for an environmentally conscious hard water softener/conditioning system, look no further! The Pelican NaturSoft Salt-Free Water Softener features Pelican’s proven and certified technology which stops the negative effects of hard water without using salt or electricity. This Pelican Water Softener also actively removes any existing hard water scale formation in your pipes and hot water heater.
Reverse Osmosis Water Softener:
iSpring 5 Stage 75-GPD Reverse Osmosis System
The iSpring 5-Stage Reverse 75-GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System will allow you to experience clean, safe, and great tasting water every time you turn on the faucet. The benefits to using this reverse osmosis system are endless! You’ll be able to enjoy clear ice cubes, fresher coffee and tea, better tasting foods and healthier baby formula. But that’s not all- it’s even better than bottled water. This system is mounted under the sink and will remove 99% of thousands of contaminates, including lead. It also remove/reduce chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, hormones, asbestos, calcium, sodium, bacteria, giardia, viruses and more. This system also boasts “Gold” (highest ranking) by the Water Quality Association against NSF/ANSI standard 58 and will ensure high reliability and low maintenance for many years to come.
*This item is special order, so please be aware that this item may take a while to ship to you.
Most water softener systems are a big investment and we want to make sure that you are choosing the right system for your home. If you have any questions about what water softeners or would like more information, please email [email protected] or feel free to let us know in the comments.